W.F. resident who worked at Ground Zero grateful 9/11 Victim’s Compensation Fund extended


WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL)—As President Trump signed the extension of the September 11th Victim’s Compensation Fund into law Monday, Wichita Falls resident Connie Joyce is one of those who will now have her healthcare paid for the rest of her life.

“There are some days I sit here all day with a breathing treatment. Today’s a good day,” Joyce said.

That’s mainly because of President Trump signing the extension of the September 11th Victim’s Compensation Fund: something Joyce had been hoping for.

Following lobbying and recent benefit cuts and its eventual passage, the legislation will now compensate victims until 2092.

“What I was diagnosed with was hypersensitivity pneumonitis with ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome). And that essentially means it left me with a lot of lung damage, bronchial damage,” Joyce said.

This came after she was working for a company, specializing in disaster cleanups. Joyce went to New York in October 2001 and left in January 2002, developing what would become her ongoing health issues in that short span of time.

“Fires were still burning underneath, but all that dust that you seen fall went into all these buildings and was on the streets and in the air conditioner systems and everywhere like that,” Joyce said. “So, we had to go in and clean from the ceilings down. The problem was this company did.. it was an insurance claim. So, one office might have insurance and the next office to it might not. So, they didn’t want us wearing any protective gear going in because they didn’t want to scare the people.”

Ironically, Joyce said she was the only one in the company there that got sick. She still can’t understand why 9/11 happened. However, she said she did what she had to do and hopes no one will ever forget that fateful day.

“I’m proud that I was there. I’m proud of the work I did.”

Joyce, who also suffers from PTSD from seeing the devastation at Ground Zero, said money has been tight over the last 18 years. Yet, she does hope to go back to New York at least once to visit the 9/11 Memorial and the site where she once worked.

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